Diamond C Trailers, an East Texas-based flatbed designer and manufacturer, came to us with a need to refresh its website and, more importantly, create a refined ordering process.

The business, which is family owned and operated, had been building and distributing quality trailers for more than 30 years, but purchasing one could be a somewhat unwieldy undertaking. Potential customers were required to contact a dealer by phone to find an exact match for their needs, and it was up to the dealer (using a catalog) to determine and present all possible options for a particular model.

Consider that Diamond C offers more than 40 models of open transports, from light utility to hydraulic tilt beds, goosenecks to pintle hitches. Mix in a stuffed truckload of options – length, axles, color, frame styles, floor material, tie-down hardware, couplers, loading setup, gross vehicle weight rating – you get the picture. Trying to pinpoint what you wanted with a phone call and a catalog could be akin to a treasure hunt.

Furthermore, when the trailer specifications were nailed down, the dealer would have to fill out the request and contact Diamond C for the build. And if you were one of the more than 160 dealers across the country stocking inventory, the hunt/order process was the same.

So our main charge was to create a configuration tool on the website, allowing the public, dealers, and Diamond C’s sales team to construct custom trailers via a few clicks. Once the process was completed for a customer, a printable PDF of trailer specs would need to be offered and an online request sent to the dealer for a price quote. Thus, the customizing process and initial paperwork would be knocked out easily and efficiently.

The primary challenge was on the user experience (UX) front: creating the tool’s road map because of the unusual depth of logic involved. So many trailers and custom options are nice…unless you’re the one figuring a way through the “if this, then this” logic spiderweb to correctly filter what’s available for what model. The result also had to be intuitive for the customer on the front-end.

Once the trail was laid, though, our development team moved in to create the configuration tool, using a WordPress Entities Manager plugin as the base. This plugin typically is meant to be a dynamic-data tool, but we customized it to support Diamond C’s structured needs. In basic terms, we created models, components, and options. Adding dependencies, we then related the options to the components, then the components to the models. Easier said than done – but in the end, done!

In addition to the configuration tool and refresh, we also upgraded Diamond C’s dealer portal and added a job application feature to the site.

It didn’t take long to see results. Within just two months of the new site going live, Diamond C received over 1,100 submissions through the trailer configuration tool, as well as more than 600 warranty registrations and 80 job applications.

The way we have it configured, that’s quite a haul.